University in Tom Petty’s hometown honoring him with Tom Petty Day, capsule collection

Tom Petty was a proud son of Gainesville, Florida, and the city’s university plans to honor the late rocker with Tom Petty Day.

The University of Florida has announced that this year’s UF/Louisiana State University game on October 15 will be the inaugural Tom Petty Day, with plans to continue celebrating it well into the future. The Tom Petty Estate is collaborating with UF on a capsule collection, with proceeds going to two local Gainesville charities: Kids Count and Family Promise. The collection is for sale on Petty’s online merch store.

Since his death in 2017, it’s been a tradition at UF games to sing Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” at the end of the third quarter. 

While Petty didn’t attend UF, he did work on the school’s grounds crew. In fact, there’s a lime tree on campus called the Tom Petty tree, in honor of the fact that he supposedly planted it during his stint on the crew — although in 2011, Petty said he didn’t remember doing so.

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